Wanza jumps fence to rally pupils
Cape Town - The Western Cape Education Department has condemned the “disruptful” actions by Proudly Manenberg chairman Mario Wanza after he and some pupils jumped over the school fence in a bid to rally pupils to join a march against gang violence.
Proudly Manenberg, along with pupils from schools in the area, had decided on an “impromptu” march against gangsterism in Manenberg on Thursday. The march date was later changed to Friday.
Manenberg High School was forced to end the day an hour earlier when the group of pupils and Proudly Manenberg members forced their way on to the school grounds.
Manenberg is on high alert after several people were killed and wounded in recent gun battles, allegedly between the Hard Livings and the Americans gangs.
Wanza said they were forced to jump over the school fence after the principal locked the gates.
“We wanted to help the students because they wanted to take action and help stop the gang violence and march for peace. They have had enough of the shooting,” he said.
Wanza, who is also the United Democratic Front leader, said the principal was not a Manenberg resident and therefore did not experience the challenges in the community.
“When we went to speak to the principal, the principal refused to speak or meet with us. All we wanted to do was address the children on the issues they are facing, so we climbed over (the fence) to try and speak to them (pupils),” he said. Wanza said the group had since rallied pupils from other schools in Manenberg and planned to march in the area at 8am on Friday.
Education MEC Donald Grant’s spokeswoman, Bronagh Casey, said the principal had the right to refuse the group entry.
”The principal rightly refused for a variety of reasons, mainly because it was still school hours and it posed a safety risk for the learners.
“According to the Western Cape Provincial School Education Act 46B, the principal may not allow a political party or a member to conduct political party activities at a school during school time,” she said.
Casey said officials would monitor the school today to ensure that there were no further disruptions.